A genuine World War One song sung in the trenches by Hert’shire men

This song was published in January 1915 and could be purchased from the ‘Gazette’ Stationery Stores in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted for a penny.

Listen to the story

That I wish to tell

Of the lads of Hert’shire

Whom you know so well;

Loyal lads of Apsley,

Hempstead and Boxmoor.

Loyal lads of Langley

Many a gallant score.

Over there in Flanders,

On a winter’s night,

When the rain was falling

And the roads a sight,

Loudly rang the bugle

For the Hert’shire men,

Who with joy assembled,

Ne’er to meet again.

“In the rain and darkness

To the foes draw near;

Softly take the places

Of your brethren dear;

Bravely have they battled

Many a weary day;

Forward to relieve them!

Forward to the fray!”

Ready, ever ready

Are the Hert’shire men,

Though it were to battle

Every man with ten;

With a cheer they started

For the battle front,

Started for the trenches

There to bear the brunt.

The author was the Reverend Thomas Tiplady, Methodist Minister at Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead and he set it to a hymn ‘Jesu Lover of My Soul’ because he read in the Daily Chronicle that it was what the Hertfordshire Territorials were singing as they arrived at the trenches.


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